Think Before You Ink: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Bosch)

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Welcome back to Think Before You Ink, a series where we show the worst of the worst when it comes to tattoos based off of famous works of art. We’re here to remind you that art is to be created, not replicated – especially if it will forever be on your body.

This week we have The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, housed at the Prado in Madrid.

Bosch is a bit of a mystery man for us today. The most interesting factoids we have about brother Bosch are that he was in a hyper-conservative cult to the Virgin Mary and that he generally DGAF. 

Exhibits A thru WTF may be found in any one of his paintings. Especially the painting full of perversion-cum-piety, which he absolutely slays, The Garden of Earthly Delights. With that, I want to emphasize one thing: This is a great painting. Like, if the aliens arrive tomorrow, this is one of the things they need to see to understand our planet should not be blown up (along with cheeseburgers, British television dramas, and the islands of Hawaii). But, whatever happens, do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, let the aliens see the following tattoos based off of Earthly Delights. It’s a real low point in the history of life on Earth.


Normally, if a tattoo gives me a reason to hum the tune to Major Lazer’s Bubble Butt, I’m just tickled pink. But the only tickling this makes me feel is in my left arm.

This tattoo’s like an ode to the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. They’re all there. Ingestion, digestion, excretion. Even some love for regurgitation. Follow-up question, though: How many of those belong in a tattoo? 

0/5 things depicted in that tattoo should be in a tattoo.


The owl looks embarrassed. It should be embarrassed.

Why did they include the fin from the fish in the painting? Were they worried that if it weren’t included people would hear where the tattoo’s from and be like, “Nah dawg, that part of the image is partially obscured by the fin of an orb fish/submarine. You clearly do not know that painting, dawg.” Because, now, it just looks like an incomplete tattoo chosen by an incompetent goon.

And, finally, the tattoo looks like the ink was made of poop. I’d tell you to deal with it, but it looks like you have enough problems already. So… get some help and come to terms with it? Find closure? Just don’t get a tattoo again. Ever.

1/5 people go to the tattoo artist instead of the therapist.


Congratulations, you found the only part of the painting that, taken out of context, looks like a fancy duck penis. There were only four options, and you sure found the duck knobbiest of them all. Your reward? There’s a fancy duck penis on your arm forever.

1/5 amputations occur after people do a public reveal of their new tattoo.


Can I be honest? King bird is one of my favorite parts of this painting. I might, in another life, actually get this tattoo. That would only happen if I were never going to need to interact with another human again, or if everyone decided all traces of Earthly Delights needed to be erased from the planet. Just saying, I get, conceptually, why someone would do this.

It’s just…is that pubic hair in the top left? It’s kind of even money whether this alabaster canvas is thigh meat or a fleshy section of arm. So, yeah, could be underarm hair. But, if you ask me, that’s a hogshead of pubes. Nothing wrong with that of its own merit. Everyone’s body is their own business. BUT…

King bird doesn’t want to be near your nether regions. He deserves more than that. He only wants you to be happy. And you stick him, in all his glory, right next to where the sun doesn’t shine. Shame on you.

5/5 king birds deserve more respect than wearing your pubis as a hat.

That’s it for this week, and remember: Leave the masterpieces to the masters!

By Clayton

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Clayton Schuster

Sr. Contributor

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